Most business leaders believe organisations should "lead from the front" when it comes to implementing more ambitious environmentally friendly practices and net zero targets, according to the findings of a survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland.

The Director Sentiment Monitor survey for the final quarter of last year reveals that almost half of business leaders surveyed admitted that their business has found it difficult to set realistic key performance indicators in order to effectively measure targets in relation to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Meanwhile, over a third of respondents said that the board of their primary organisation does not feel sufficiently knowledgeable and informed to deal with ESG matters.

The survey also reveals that 46% of the business leaders either agree or strongly agree that the Government's Climate Action Plan is good for the business of their primary organisation, while just 12% either disagree or strongly disagree that it is good for the business.

"It is clear from our latest quarterly research that responsibility for and influence on environmental issues is being acknowledged and, indeed, embraced by business leaders," said Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors (Io) in Ireland.

"Since the onset of the pandemic, in particular, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have truly come to the fore.

"In an emphatic finding, 83% of our respondents believe there is an onus on business organisations to 'lead from the front' with regard to implementing more ambitious environmentally friendly practices and Net Zero targets," she added.